More recently, immunologic therapy has emerged as an important treatment option for many types of cancers, based on demonstrations of unprecedented efficacy. This radical shift in treatment has come with the recognition of the essential role of the immune system in the surveillance and eradication of neoplastic cells, particularly modulation of the immune checkpoint protein cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and the programmed death-1 (PD-1) receptor and its ligand, PD-L1.
The fluoropyrimidine 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and its prodrug capecitabine are cytotoxic agents that have been widely used in the treatment of solid tumors. In the United States alone, an estimated 275,000 patients with cancer receive 5-FU each year. Despite its lifesaving/life-prolonging potential, 5-FU causes severe early-onset toxicity in up to one-fourth of patients, and more than 1300 die each year as a result of this toxicity.
The role of nurse navigators has grown exponentially in recent years, and is now regarded as an integral element of oncology treatment and patient care. The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) defines patient navigation as the “process whereby a patient is given individualized support across the continuum of care, beginning with community outreach to raise awareness and perform cancer screening, through the diagnosis and treatment process, and on to short- and long-term survivorship or end of life.” At the Best Practices in Lung Cancer Navigation Summit, held October 22, 2016, in Rosemont, IL, oncology nurse navigators involved in the care of patients with lung cancer convened to discuss the complexities and role of nurse navigators in the treatment of lung cancer.
As the costs associated with cancer care continue to escalate, all key stakeholders—healthcare providers, private and government payers, and patients—strive to balance high-quality cancer care with cost efficiency. As insurance benefit designs continue to shift the cost burden of treatment, more patients with cancer and their families are both psychologically and financially invested in treatment decisions.
In 1979, Falck and colleagues described the presence of chemotherapy in the urine of nurses caring for patients who had received chemotherapy.1
The discovery that merely handling chemotherapy drugs can lead to absorption of the chemotherapy drugs has been key in the re-evaluation of safety in healthcare environments. In 2004, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) alert noted that skin rashes, infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, and leukemia or other cancers may be associated with working with or near hazardous drugs.2
From 2004 to 2013, 22 new oral anticancer medications were introduced in the United States, which is almost the same number (27) of oral anticancer medications that were introduced in the previous 50 years combined. Of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved myeloma novel therapies, 5 are orally administered. With the FDA approval of ixazomib (Ninlaro; a first-in-class oral proteasome inhibitor) in November 2015, an all-oral treatment combination for patients with myeloma is now a reality with the combination of ixazomib, lenalidomide (Revlimid), and dexamethasone (Decadron)
Welcome to our first newsletter in the Conquering the Multiple Myeloma Continuum series, which focuses on adherence to oral medications in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). In the first newsletter, you learned about some of the major causes of nonadherence that patients and their providers face; this second newsletter provides some strategies and solutions
Oncology nurses, advanced practitioners, and oncology nurse navigators gathered at the Navigators Exploring Xtra Tracks lunch session, “Survivorship Care: Planning for Action,” hosted by the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators West Coast Regional Meeting in Seattle, Washington, May 19-20, 2015.
This issue spotlights the experience Moffitt Cancer Center has had with the Onyx 360 Patient Assistance program. It also has a perspective directly from a nurse navigator on how valuable this program is for the patients.